Rafael Nadal has won a remarkable 11 Roland Garros titles. He won consecutively from 2005-2008 and from 2010-2014. Impressively he has won 82 and only lost 2 matches in Paris.
With these crazy stats in mind, can Nadal still hold his title for another year. Nadal is not getting any younger and many pundits have predicted that Nadal’s body will not hold up for long forcing him to retire sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, since coming back from multiple long-term injuries, Nadal is looking close to his best and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down having made it to the final of the Australian Open earlier this year.
Nadal is the ultimate king of clay however, someone will eventually take his throne.
Players that have a good chance of beating Nadal at Roland Garros this year:
The current world No. 1 has been in fine form having won the last 3 grand slams in a row and will be motivated to become the holder of all 4 grand slams at the same time. This achievement has eluded him in the past because the clay of Roland Garros has proven to be a tough hunting ground and he has only won 1 title in his career. His only title also came at a time when Nadal had to bow out in the 3rd round because of a wrist injury. Djokovic will certainly be more confident this season with the form he has been in and the fact that his head to head win ratio with Nadal is in his favour having beaten Nadal 28 times and lost 25 times. Another point to consider however, is that the last time he beat Nadal on clay was in 2016.
The 25 year old Austrian world no. 8 had a breakthrough season in 2018. He collected 3 titles on clay to add to his tally bringing his no. of titles to 11, winning in Buenos Aires and Lyon.
These titles have set Thiem up as a realistic Roland Garros contender and he will be determined to go one step further having lost to Nadal in last years Final. Thiem certainly has the determination and belief to win a grand slam this year and his best bet would be at this year’s Roland Garros. His goal for the year is to finish in the top 5 in the world.
Alex Zverev is one of the most promising young stars in the game now and many believe that 2019 will be a defining year leading to a stronger presence in grand slams. A title at a grand slam this year looks inevitable having spent the last 2 years adjusting and figuring out how the world tour works. His clay court prowess is evident as he has won 4 clay court titles in his short career so far Including world tour masters 1000 titles in Rome and Madrid. He showed that he is a grand slam title contender beating stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic at the ATP finals last year on his way to lifting the trophy.
Stan Wawrinka has been around the circuit for many years now and if it were not for the golden generation of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka would certainly have half a dozen grand slam titles to his name. Nevertheless, he has won a handful of Grand slams including the French Open and has been a title contender many times. More recently he has been a finalist in 2017 losing to the king, Rafa Nadal.0